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Study tonal portrait

Let us consider the stages of drawing study portrait.

For variety’s sake the elements of traditional clothes are put on the model.


As usual we start drawing with subtle lines and do not applying too much pressure to the pencil. As usual first of all we delineate the composition on the paper.


While disposing the main parts, it is important to not forget, that WE DO NOT DRAW DETAILS AS SUCH, BUT WE DRAW DETAILS IN ORDER TO FORM THE ENSEMBLE. In real life that means looking at the model and at the picture entirely, trying to take the main proportions of the head as correctly, as it possible.


This drawing we will make almost without constructing the structure of the figure. We should catch the most characteristic features in every area, not working on small details too long.


Moderately the gradations between light and shade become more various. We use that to check the relations between main parts and its shape.


Everything located closer to us should be done more contrast, while the areas disposed further should remain softer and lower contrast.

Moderately the chiaroscuro becomes more real.

To take the tonal relations more correct we should often look at the drawing and at the model with defocused eyes.


Make tonal relations deeper and decide when you should consider the picture as finished. 

Oleg Toropygin